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308 pages, Hardcover
First published April 26, 2022
“Forget labels like “right wing” & “dark web”, read a book without preconceptions about the author & judge what it actually says. For what it’s worth, I always vote left & I think Douglas Murray’s The War on the West is utterly superb. Please read it with an open mind. Please.”
-Tweet from Richard Dawkins
“Fanon, like many other postcolonial writers who became famous in the West, is not really interested in restoring the cultures of the non-Western countries he claims to care about. He is not interested in returning African nations to an era of tribal customs or any other precolonial Indigenous tradition. What he is interested in is analyzing these cultures through a Marxist lens and then “saving” them by applying a Marxist ideology to them. Naturally there is something perverse about this. For Marx was a Western thinker, with next to no knowledge—let alone experience—of non-Western cultures or societies. Just one of the ironies of the postcolonialist thinkers is that so many take the same path as Fanon. Intent in shrugging off the legacy of Western colonialism, they find an answer for every non-Western society in Western Marxism.”
“In recent years, the critics of the West have marked themselves out through a set of extraordinary claims. Their technique now has a pattern. It is to zoom in on Western behavior, remove it from the context of the time, set aside any non-Western parallels, and then exaggerate what the West actually did.”
“Before the modern era, the whole history of our species was one of occupation and conquering. One group of original peoples were replaced by another group of other peoples.”
“I was told that as a white non–South African I had no right to say that South Africa today is not a white-supremacist society. Minutes earlier, the same person had felt free to tell me that Britain is “the home of racism.” Not for the first time, I marveled at the fact that generalizations about the West remain the only generalizations acceptable to make. Whereas specific questions about specific claims made about non-Western countries are batted away as though they could not possibly contain any merit and are in fact presumptuous even to raise.”
“Could it really be honest to lambaste the art of the West for being parochial or limiting? The very question now has a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” quality. For if a culture is to be condemned as insular, parochial, and limited if it is inward-looking, yet lambasted for cultural appropriation if it is outward-looking, then what exactly is a culture to do? In such a situation, it would appear that an unfair, indeed hostile, trap has been set up. One in which Western culture can be simultaneously attacked for its insularity and lambasted for not being insular enough.”
“Today the West faces challenges without and threats within. But no greater threat exists than that which comes from people inside the West intent on pulling apart the fabric of our societies, piece by piece. By assaulting the majority populations in these countries. By saying that our histories are entirely reprehensible and have nothing good to be said about them. By claiming that everything in our past that has led up to our present is irredeemably riddled with sin and that while these same sins have beset every society in history, the debtor should knock at only one door. And most importantly by those who pretend that a civilization that has given more to the world in knowledge, understanding, and culture than any other in history somehow has nothing whatsoever to be said for it. What is anyone to say or do in the face of such myopic, omnipresent hatred?”
“Such people have nothing to say about themselves, or about anyone outside of the West, because to do so might lead them to change the direction in which their resentment is funneled. It might in fact cause them to finally turn their gaze on themselves. If the West is not responsible for all ills in the world, in its past and in the past and present of others, then other actors must be held responsible. And some people would have to look to themselves to explain their lack of outcomes, achievements, and more. They would have to look into the causes of their discontents and see that at least one of them is themselves. How much easier it is to keep claiming that another party—and a vast, historic party at that—is responsible for all the ills of the world and of their own lives.”
"People who have the good fortune to live in the West are not just the inheritors of comparatively good economic fortune. They have inherited a form of government, justice, and law for which they ought to feel profound gratitude. It may not always be perfect, but it is better by far than any of the alternatives on offer. And when it comes to what we in the West have inherited all around us, this must count as one of the greatest gifts, if not the greatest gift, that any civilization has left for those who came after. A gift not just in liberal order and beautiful cities and landscapes but in artistic achievement, cultural inheritance, and a wealth of examples of how to live. Examples never exceeded anywhere on earth..."